The speech made by Pat McFadden, the Labour MP for Wolverhampton South East, in the House of Commons on 13 June 2022.
I am grateful to the Minister for his response. GDP down 0.3% in April. A fall of 0.1% in March. Services down 0.3%. Production down 0.6%. Construction down 0.4%. Inflation at 9%. Tax promises broken. The trade deficit at £24 billion. The pound falling against the dollar. The director general of the CBI saying business leaders are “in despair”. The OECD forecasting that, next year, the UK will have the lowest growth of any G20 economy, with the sole exception of—Russia.
That is what the Government are presiding over. Britain is going backwards under the Conservatives. Our businesses, universities and people are all great, but they do not have the partner they need in this Government. The chaos is affecting more and more areas of life: passports, driving licences, GP appointments, A&E waiting times, airports and delays in court trials. Time after time what we used to take for granted is now another feature of Boris Johnson’s backlog Britain.
Those on the Government Benches had a chance to change direction last week. They had a chance to install new leadership that might have given us some hope of a greater sense of grip on all this. But what did they do? They decided that the best person to turn the economy round, to sort out the chaos and the backlogs, and to bring the qualities of focus, attention to detail and sustained delivery to these matters was the current Prime Minister. That was the judgment they made.
The question for the Minister today is simple: after making that judgment—I do not know what he did, but that was the collective judgment—and choosing to continue with the leadership that brought us here, what will the Government do now to turn matters around, and why on earth should anyone believe that the result will be different from what went before?